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Where They Were At Age 22

May 17, 2008

Last year USSMariner wrote a post that looked at where various pitching aces were at age 21, compared to Felix. The King is a year older now, and I thought it would be interesting to perform this exercise again. Below is a list of eight aces. The list features predominately younger pitchers, although Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez were included out of curiousity.

At age 22:

Jake Peavy – 194 IP, 156 K, 82 BB, 173 H, 77.8 LOB%, .263 BABIP, 4.99 FIP 

Brandon Webb – Spent the season playing for the Lancaster Jethawks in A+ ball.

Josh Beckett – Split the year playing in the minor leagues and with the Florida Marlins. For the Marlins that year his stats read 107.7 IP, 113 K, 44 BB, 93 H, 68.5 LOB%, .296 BABIP, 3.69 FIP.

Cole Hamels – Split the year between three minor league teams and the Philadelphia Phillies. For the Phillies his stats read 132.3 IP, 145 K, 48 BB, 117 H, 72.1 LOB%, .300 BABIP, 3.98 FIP.

Carlos Zambrano – 214 IP (Whoo Dusty Baker), 168 K, 94 BB, 188 H, 73.0 LOB%, .291 BABIP, 3.47 FIP.

Johan Santana – 43.7 IP, 28 K, 16 BB, 50 H, 72.6 LOB%, .316 BABIP, 4.87 FIP.

Pedro Martinez – 144.7 IP, 142 K, 45 BB, 115 H, 72.1 LOB%, .281 BABIP, 3.31 FIP.

CC Sabathia – 197.7 IP, 141 K, 66 BB, 190 H, 75.2 LOB%, .291 BABIP, 3.95 FIP.

So far in the 2008 season, Felix has posted a line of 61.3 IP, 52 K, 27 BB, 63 H, 77.7 LOB%, .324 BABIP, 3.79 FIP.

This is not a bad line. While there is room for improvement (K rate, hits, and his LOB% suggests that he’s been pretty lucky), Felix fits right in with the rest of those names.

As Douglas Adams might say, don’t panic. Felix has not reached his ceiling. He’s not a permanent number two starter. He’s an ace in training who, once he gets his command down, will quite possibly be the best pitcher in baseball.

Eric

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